Idle fees have been a reality of Tesla Supercharger stations for some time now. Such fees incur when the Supercharger location exceeds 50% capacity and your vehicle has already reached a predetermined charge level. This is done to ensure no one is hogging the space after their car is already done charging and people are waiting in line. For the United States, that fee is $0.50 per minute and $1.00 per minute if every space is occupied.
Now, Tesla has introduced congestion fees to its Supercharger network. According to Tesla, this new fee structure replaces idle fees at a select number of Supercharger locations. It also aims to make the Supercharger location less crowded and open to anyone who needs a charge and doesn't want to wait a long time. This fee structure is linked to both the traffic level of the Supercharger location you're using and the battery level of the car you're charging.
Keeping the charging lanes moving
Tesla notes that if both the Supercharger spot is busy and your car's battery is over 90% charged, you will incur a $1.00 additional fee every minute it's still plugged in after a five-minute grace period. Tesla has not specified its definition of "busy," but users will be notified through the Tesla app if they are about to be charged.
In its site's frequently asked questions section, Tesla notes that even customers with Supercharging credits or free Supercharging for their Tesla are not spared from congestion fees. It is also not limited to Tesla vehicles only. Any of the increasingly large amount of vehicles that can use Superchargers are eligible for congestion fees.
To justify the fees, Tesla says: "A customer would never leave a vehicle parked by the pump at a gas station, and the same thinking applies with Superchargers." It makes sense, and the fees will likely alleviate some charging annoyances. Hopefully, the fees will encourage more charging spots to open up to those cars that need it.